Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Cedar Hill Station Public Presentation : Reduction
There was a fine turnout at 1 Montecello in the Cleveland Heights Community Center tonight for the rather well advertised public meeting/unveiling of the new Cedar Hill Red Line and inter-modal station. Most sat rather politely through the introductions and Mehrdad Yazdani's presentation which included collaborative efforts of URS and the myriad of community and city organizations whose voices must all be heard.
The presentation went much better than I had expected, the breadth of the proposal included Cedar Glen Parkway down to MLK and included a complete redesign of the "jug handle" and south side of Cedar as well as the new station. The station proposal itself is a nice conversation on the relating to the site, the program and cost restrictions and an identifiable image to demarcate the area. The most successful component (in my view) was the celebration of the fringes of defined area, the boundary that defines neighborhoods instead of simply using a local vernacular as an applique to force a contextual relationship. Playing with the idea of under/over as it relates to entering the site as well as the structure allows the park to be a grand public space built upon cascading levels as well as defining the experience through the existing conditions of constant passage/threshold.
The public Q/A session went the typical route which is difficult for someone who can read architectural diagrams to sit through but necessary to understand how important it is to be entirely clear to the general public. It seems painful but learning how to communicate to those who are not "trained" as the designer is can mean the difference between a successful project and a complete failure. For all the commotion (around 30 - 45 minutes of public comment, Maribeth Feke (I think that is who it was) ran the meeting with much more patience and understanding than I would have been capable of. Not to say that all the comments brought up were bad, in fact most were rather well thought out and interesting.
If the station can be built near enough the manner as presented it will be a rousing success.